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Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Representing the 1st District of Washington



It is our responsibility to ensure every child in the United States has access to a high-quality education, regardless of their income or zip code. In classrooms throughout the First Congressional District and across Washington state, teachers and administrators are doing incredible work to educate our kids and prepare them to succeed after graduation. However, Congress must do more to support these efforts and ensure that federal education policies are working for Washington’s students, educators, and school districts.

To guarantee that all students are given an opportunity to succeed, I believe we need to replace No Child Left Behind (NCLB) with a system that maintains high standards for student achievement but provides states and districts with the tools and flexibility they need to help all kids reach their full potential. By doing so, we can help close the achievement gap and ensure that all high school graduates are college and career-ready.

At the same time, we must increase our nation’s investment in early learning programs, public universities, and career and technical education programs, in order to ensure that every American has access to educational opportunity. We also need to do more to support STEM education, as well as student innovation and creativity, in our schools.

One of my top priorities in Congress is to make college more affordable for all Americans. The rising cost of higher education in the United States continues to pose serious challenges to millions of middle-class students and their families, who are being forced to take out higher loan amounts to pay for tuition, fees, textbooks, and housing. That’s why I am fighting to keep student loan interest rates as low as possible, strengthen the Pell Grant program and other forms of student aid, lower the cost of college textbooks and supplies, and reduce the burden of student debt by allowing borrowers to refinance at today’s lower rates.

While I continue working with my colleagues to support each of these goals, here’s some information on the progress that we’ve already made:

  • Prevented the Doubling of Student Loan Interest Rates.  In 2013, I helped roll back the doubling of student loan interest rates, which were hiked from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on July 1 of that year. I was an original cosponsor of legislation that would have maintained low interest rates through 2015 and I ultimately joined with both Democrats and Republicans in support of a long-term compromise bill (Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, Public Law 113-28) that provided immediate relief to millions of students and their families.
  • Increased Funding for Internet Access and Wi-Fi in Schools.  I helped lead the effort in Congress to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize and improve the federal E-rate program, which provides discounts to schools and libraries for the cost of Internet and telecommunications services. As a result of this effort, the FCC increased funding for E-rate by $1.5 billion per year to help schools deploy increased Internet bandwidth and Wi-Fi in every classroom during the next five years.
  • Secured Funding for Schools in the Aftermath of the SR-530 Mudslide.  The Darrington and Arlington school districts faced a number of additional costs to keep schools running in the aftermath of the State Route 530 mudslide on March 22, 2014. I helped secure thousands of dollars in federal grant funds to reimburse the districts for costs incurred during this tragedy, including transportation expenditures to ensure students could get to school and costs for substitute teachers to fill in for classroom staff who were unable to return to work.

More on Education

May 17, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today helped introduce the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act to allow students and families with undergraduate student debt to refinance their loans to the current interest rate of 3.76 percent.
May 8, 2017 Press Release
BOTHELL – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) announced that four U.S. military academies accepted the nominations of nine First District high school students and graduates. Every year, DelBene has the privilege of nominating a limited number of students to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, West Point Military Academy and Merchant Marine Academy. The honor of attending a military service academy comes with a commitment to service for a minimum of five years upon graduation.
Apr 21, 2017 Press Release
REDMOND – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) announced that Nate McGaw from Glacier Peak High School won the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for Washington’s First District. DelBene joined local students, families and friends at a reception honoring all the participants who submitted artwork for the competition. McGaw won with his piece, “Ballpoint Boy,” which will be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., as part of a year-long national exhibition. McGaw is invited to join DelBene for the official unveiling of the artwork.
Apr 17, 2017 In The News
MOUNT VERNON — Even after school, the hallways and classrooms at LaVenture Middle School are bustling with activity. Some kids are catching up on homework in a computer lab, others are working on their math skills, and some are experimenting with Mentos candies and soda bottles. The students, as well as their counterparts at Mount Baker Middle School, aren’t there because they have to be — they’re there because they want to be.
Apr 12, 2017 Press Release
MOUNT VERNON – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today visited the Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County to donate computers and highlight the devastating effects of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts on our community — including this important afterschool program.
Apr 5, 2017 In The News
This week, I spent a few days in the “other Washington” where I had the opportunity to meet with the members of our federal legislative delegation and their staffs. I shared with them the invaluable, vital work that our University of Washington community does to expand the frontiers of scientific research, improve healthcare, develop creativity through the arts and provide quality and affordable education to our students.
Mar 28, 2017 In The News
Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-Wa.) this week introduced the Higher Education Loan Payments (HELP) for Students and Parents Act, bipartisan legislation that will make college more affordable by modernizing how the tax code treats employer contributions toward student loan repayment.
Mar 24, 2017 In The News
There are 13 million college savings accounts in this country, and more than half received at least one deposit in 2016. Those are decent numbers, and growing—but they cover just a tiny fraction of the country’s college-bound population.
Mar 22, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Suzan DelBene (D-Wa.) this week introduced the Higher Education Loan Payments (HELP) for Students and Parents Act, bipartisan legislation that will make college more affordable by modernizing how the tax code treats employer contributions toward student loan repayment.
Mar 22, 2017 In The News
SEATTLE, WA - A group of Seattle middle school girls known as the D.C. Bully Busters are fresh off their trip from our nation's capital. They met with lawmakers from all over the country to raise awareness about bullying, and to take action against it. 12-year-olds Grace Thordarson and Lilah Amon-Lucas tell us what their mission is all about. Click here to watch the video.